BEACON HILL HAPPENINGS
– It’s not all COVID on Beacon Hill: Although lawmakers are heavily focused on responding to the evolving coronavirus crisis, there has been some movement on climate and energy legislation this past week.
Legislation to establish an 11-member commission to evaluate the state’s preparedness for climate change refugees (H.4494) was moved into the House Ways & Means Committee. The bill, filed by Rep. Liz Miranda, was put forward in response to Hurricane Maria and the influx of displaced people from Puerto Rico. It requires the commission to report its findings to the legislature within one year of convening.
Similarly, a bill to require home energy audits (S.1922) was moved into the Senate Ways & Means committee. Filed by Senator Barrett, the bill aims to reduce emissions through the creation of energy scorecards, which are given to buyers during real estate transactions.
– “New State Rules Aim To Double Solar Power Capacity” (Colin A. Young, SHNS via WBUR): “Industry groups on Wednesday largely welcomed the updated regulations that the Baker administration filed for a solar energy development program, saying the new rules will help the state meet its climate goals and help the solar industry as it deals with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but some also said the update does not go far enough.”
– For the most up-to-date info on COVID-19 & Beacon Hill…..
- The State House News Service coronavirus updates tracker” see the latest updates here.
- MassTrac COVID-19 bill tracker: Check it out, and follow updates, here.
– “Why We Need More Than a Trillion Trees” by Christian Morris, via Climate XChange: “While organizations, such as the ones working on a Trillion Trees, are doing critical work to advance the sustainable use of the environment and natural resources, their efforts have a complicated past.”
– “A green energy economy saves lives” by Antonia Blinn, Caroline Cooney, Julie Jones, Joseph Kaplan, Tyler Putnam, Annette Shaw, Jean Southard, Mark Vigorito and Sally Fehervari, via Wicked Local Mansfield.
– “Massachusetts should be next state to transition to 100% renewable energy” by Kaleigh Hill, via the Worcester Telegram.
– “Should Massachusetts cities and towns ban new natural gas hook-ups?” by Bradley Hubbard-Nelson, Thomas M. Kiley, and John Laidler, via the Boston Globe. [$]
OUR LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
– “Why housing security is key to environmental justice” (Mỹ Dzung Chu, Environmental Health News): [read the article]
THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT
– “Mass Attorney General Commits To Enforcing Environmental Protections During Pandemic” [read the full press release].
LOCAL CLIMATE CAMPAIGNS
– “Carol Doherty endorsed by Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund” (Wicked Local Easton): [read the article]
BEYOND THE BAY STATE
– “The Tennessee Legislator Fighting Air Pollution with Carbon Pricing Policy” (Carlie Clarcq, Climate XChange): [read the article]
– “Cities Confronting the Climate Crisis” (Carlie Clarcq, Climate XChange): [read the article]
INSIDE THE BELTWAY
– “EPA won’t tighten pollution rule despite evidence of link between soot, COVID-19” (Coral Davenport, NYTimes via Boston Globe): “Disregarding an emerging scientific link between dirty air and COVID-19 death rates, the Trump administration declined Tuesday to tighten a regulation on industrial soot emissions that came up for review ahead of the coronavirus pandemic.” [$]
– “Trump’s New Auto Rollback Is an Economic Disaster” (Robinson Meyer, the Atlantic): [read the article]
THE GREEN ECONOMY, STUPID
– “Mass. lost thousands of clean energy jobs in March, says new report” (Gintautas Dumcius, Boston Business Journal): “Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania each lost more than 5,000 clean energy jobs, the memo said. In Massachusetts, the 5,611 lost jobs amounted to a 4.4 percent decline in its clean energy workforce.” [$]
– “Efficiency sector gets creative to stem COVID-19 job losses, maintain energy savings” (Robert Walton, UtilityDive): [read the article]